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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Going Up: 1905

Going Up: 1905

New York circa 1905. "The Flatiron building." The iconic proto-skyscraper early in its life. Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

 

My great great grandfather

My great great grandfather helped build that building, but fell and was crippled for life. Whenever I pass this building, I think of him. My family has been NYers for generations. This building means a lot to my family.

5 - 4 - 3 -

2 - 1 liftoff.

Second Banana

The Flatiron's diminutive neighbor always gets short shrift. The Western Union Building at 186 Fifth Avenue is also a survivor (seen here at right with the "Guide Magazine" sign).

Lest we forget

Daniel H. Burnham of the eponymous firm of D. H. Burnham & Co. was certainly the architect of record for the Flatiron, but I bet most of the exuberant exterior detail was the work of the project architect, Frederick Dinkelberg.

The view.

Check out the Wilkipedia article, which includes an inside view of one of the "point" offices. Imagine having the Empire State Building to look at from a few blocks away all day. Not bad.

A View From the Flatiron

The views from the upper floors had to be magnificent. To the west, the Hudson River. Possibly on a clear day Pennsylvania could be seen. To the east they had the East River and Long Island. To the north, Westchester and Northern New Jersey. Ths south view was probably the best, the new skyline featured office towers like the Singer Building and later the Woolworth Building. The best would have been the views of the harbor which featured the last of the tall masted sailing schooners and the Statue of Liberty.

Uber-real

It would surprise me only just a little bit if this photo just started running like a movie. You can practically hear what the man in front of the clock is saying to the other man.

"You go ahead, I want to stay right in the shot."

Wonderful!

Absolutely wonderful masterpiece of architecture! Thanks to Daniel H. Burnham!

Timeless

I feel like a time traveler with a camera.

+104

Here is the view taken in July of 2009. Since it was taken as a "now" view of a very similar picture (this has to be one of the most photographed buildings ever), it's not identical but very close.

Something's missing

No awnings -- yet.

Beloved but Eccentric

Just last week the NY Times had a story and slide show about what it is like to work in the beloved but eccentric Flatiron building.

Everyone's Favorite

And, thanks to Dave, I know it was faced with tile!

Time stands still

Awesome pic! A brief look into the everyday life of people on a busy New York street, at 5 minutes to 10 in the morning, 105 years ago!

A Window on the World

I would love to know who got the office with the three windows, on the top floor, right at the point of the building - What a view that person must have had! Would that it were me!

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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